Consequences of climate-induced low oxygen conditions for commercially important fish

Townhill, Bryony L., van der Molen, Johan, Metcalfe, Julian D., Simpson, Stephen D., Farcas, Adrian and Pinnegar, John K. ORCID: (2017) Consequences of climate-induced low oxygen conditions for commercially important fish. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 580. pp. 191-204. ISSN 0171-8630

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Oxygen availability is key in determining habitat suitability for marine fish. As a result of climate change, low oxygen conditions are predicted to occur more frequently and over a greater geographic extent. Studies assessing the long-term chronic effects and impacts for commercially important fish are rare. To assess the potential effects of climate-induced low oxygen on fisheries, physiological data, such as critical thresholds, derived from laboratory experiments on 5 commercial fish species were integrated with hindcast and future oxygen projections from the hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model GETM-ERSEM. By using this approach, changes in habitat suitability from the 1970s to 2100 were identified. In the North Sea, the current extent of areas with the lowest oxygen levels is smaller than during the 1970s, with improved oxygen conditions having less impact on species’ critical thresholds. Oxygen levels are expected to decrease again in the coming century due to climate change, although not to the minima of previous decades. In affected areas and years, intermediate oxygen levels could have temporary impacts in late summer on swimming, growth, ingestion and metabolic scope of adult fish. These results demonstrate that although physical model oxygen projections help to provide insight, they are insufficient by themselves to predict the full potential impacts of climate change on fish distribution and fisheries. Such modelling requires underpinning through experimentation, particularly of the physiological effects of climate change on different life stages so that effects on reproduction, growth and commercial catches can be determined and tailored, and robust management measures put in place.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: aerobic scope,climate change,critical thresholds,fisheries,hypoxia,metabolic rate,metabolic scope,normoxia,sdg 13 - climate action,sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2017 05:06
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2023 00:55
DOI: 10.3354/meps12291

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